Thursday, 9 December 2010

"This Government does not believe that liberalisation and legalisation are the answer,"

The above quote from the current Home Secretary Theresa May pretty much says it all.  It really is astonishing that a government which has a party with Liberal in the name and a partner of the Conservatives with a small "c" are more draconian than any previous government.  Make no mistake the latest policy is very anti liberal and erodes even further into social freedoms. 

I rant about drugs a lot, but today there have been a fair few articles on these matters all worth a read:
Mark Easton for the BBC.

Mark Easton I find very good at highlighting issues, but the one I like the most is the Peter Reynolds blog.  Highlights the absolute hypocrisy of particularly Theresa May, but also the government as a whole.  
I also really like Decca Aitkenhead's interview with David Nutt.  He really isn't the most liberal, he is just sensible and highlights the fact that current policies aren't based on scientific evidence.  He is often held up as the voice of decriminalisation/legalisation but is actually far from it.  He even states that he'd rather ban alcohol and restrict use of lesser drugs.  The part I really like is:

He describes a truly surreal exchange with the then home secretary, Jacqui Smith, who told him: "You cannot compare the harms of an illegal activity with a legal one." But don't we need to compare the harms, he asked her, in order to see if something should be illegal? "And there was this long pause. And she said, 'You can't compare the harms of an illegal activity with a legal one.' And this is the problem. Many politicians seem to think that once something is illegal, job done. She didn't understand the paradox of what she was saying. So I think the home office were angry with me, and from that point on there were people out to get me."

Total hypocrisy there from the former Labour government, the problem is this government are even worse.  In one of the pieces the question is raised "What would they do if a safe form of ecstasy is found?" That is an easy question to answer, they would ban it.  The problem is that government after government are just looking for ways to control their populous and manipulate them.  

The only reason alcohol and to a lesser extent tobacco are acceptable is due to social history.  Governments are reluctant for people to find new ways of enjoying themselves.  

Hypocrisy annoys me.  Several of the leading Tories have admitted drug taking (But I didn't inhale your honour... yeah and Mike Ashley is loved by the Toon Army, pull the other one!) yet are reluctant to even entertain the motion that it may be better for their minions to be allowed to partake in this.  As such they allow policy to be formed by prejudice, ignoring both scientific and cost benefit analysis.  

Maybe one day we can have a grown up and sensible debate regarding a person's free will and how the state should not interfere in matters effecting ones self.  Maybe one day we will have government policies formed on reasoning and logic rather than sensationalist emotive tabloid headlines. Maybe one day people will be free from prejudice and judgement due to how they chose to live their lives.  Maybe one day people with drugs problems will not feel victimised and therefore will be able to come forward and get the help they need.  Maybe one day governments will stop wasting money on a policy that is completely ineffective at acheiving their rediculous aims.  Maybe one day people will realise that the best way to tackle drugs is education, making sure that people are properly informed and allowing them to make their own decisions.  Maybe I shouldn't be holding my breath.

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